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Švyturys-Utenos alus and Green Genius partner for a new solar energy solution in Lithuania, a first of its kind in the Baltics

Green Genius solar power plant in Lithuania
Green Genius solar power plant in Lithuania

Lithuanian brewer Švyturys-Utenos alus (ŠUA), part of the Carlsberg Group, and renewable energy company Green Genius have entered into a novel Energy-as-a-Service power purchase agreement (PPA). As part of the agreement, Green Genius will develop, construct, commission, and operate two first-of-their-kind PV-plus-storage systems in Lithuania that will provide renewable energy to the brewery and cover 100% of its annual demand with carbon-free electricity. The Energy-as-a-Service agreement is the first of its kind in Lithuania and in the Baltics more broadly and accelerates progress towards the Carlsberg Group’s ZERO Carbon Footprint ambition.

The PPA agreement between the two parties linked to Green Genius’s InnoSolveGreen project has recently been recognised by the European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA) under the Innovation Fund Small Scale Call 2021 for its potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and accelerate the transition of European industries towards a carbon-free economy.

The project’s total value is 7.5 M EUR, of which 2.6 M EUR is funded by the European Union Emissions Trading System – Innovation Fund, and Green Genius covers the rest. The InnoSolveGreen project will involve the installation and commissioning of two PV-plus-storage systems. The first system (so-called on-site system) will be implemented at the site of ŠUA in Utena city, Lithuania, by May 2024, while the second system (so-called off-site system) will be implemented at a new utility-scale site near Butrimonys town, Lithuania, and start its operations by January 2025.

Maximising solar PV capacity with battery energy storage systems

The recent PPA agreement builds on an existing partnership between Green Genius and ŠUA that had been established back in 2018, when Green Genius installed a 1.0 MW solar PV plant on the ŠUA brewery’s rooftops.

This time, Green Genius will install a new additional 1.5 MW solar PV system on the remaining brewery’s rooftops and increase the on-site solar PV capacity to a maximum extent. To accommodate this significant expansion without impeding the local electrical grid, a 2.0 MWh battery energy storage system will be installed and efficiently deployed to meet the brewery’s electricity demands – at the right place, at the right time, and at the required scale.

Moreover, the on-site solar PV capacity will be complemented by a new 5.0 MW off-site utility-scale solar PV plant that will be developed near Butrimonys town. The Butrimonys off-site plant will not only feature the latest solar PV technology but also demonstrate a 4.0 MWh battery energy storage system. 

The brewery’s on-site and Butrimonys off-site solar PV-plus-storage systems will enable ŠUA brewery to source 100% of its electricity from locally produced solar PV energy.

A pioneering example for Lithuania, the Baltic States, and the whole of Europe

Green Genius and ŠUA believe in the high potential and pioneering nature of the endeavour. The shared hope is for other Lithuanian and EU businesses to observe and adopt the InnoSolveGreen solution, as they too work to decarbonize operations and build energy self-sufficiency.

Rolandas Viršilas, CEO of ŠUA, outlines the ambition:

“We have clear commitments to the environment and our customers. Therefore, this project is undoubtedly important to us. For a long time, we have been using only electricity from renewable sources. Now we are raising the bar higher - we will use only local and only self-produced electricity that contributes new green electricity to the grid.

I believe that our example will encourage other Lithuanian businesses to take similar actions, because by investing in new green energy capacities, we are not only getting involved in the green transformation but also taking care of Lithuania’s energy security, which, as the events of recent years show, is extremely important”.

Ruslanas Sklepovicius, CEO of Green Genius, adds:

“It will be the first autonomous green electricity solution for industrial users in the Baltic States. Therefore, we see this project as an essential milestone toward sustainability and energy independence in the region”.

Together towards a ZERO Carbon Footprint

ŠUA is a part of the Carlsberg Group and is instrumental in putting the Group’s ambitious ESG programme, Together Towards ZERO and Beyond (TTZAB), into action in Lithuania. Through this programme, the Group is working towards a ZERO Carbon Footprint, with global targets set to drive down carbon emissions across the value chain to achieve net ZERO by 2040. As it works towards this milestone, the Group is striving for ZERO carbon emissions at its breweries and for all renewable electricity to come from new assets (e.g., through power purchase agreements) by 2030.

ŠUA is well on the way, having already converted its Utenos brewery to be carbon neutral in 2020, and now driving forward new solutions - together with partners like Green Genius - to lead by example for other companies within and beyond the Group.

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